How and Why Do the Amish Weld?
For the amish community, the main idea is simplicity: removing distractions and focusing on the parts of life that the modern world tends to forget. That means cars, televisions, radios and the internet (for the most part). Even clothing buttons are viewed as an unnecessary distraction.
Welding, on the other hand, can be highly complex. Non-electric forms of welding often require special gases and materials which can come with complicated supply chains. While electric welding machines and consumables are easier to come by, they have their own distractions.
At first, you might assume that the Amish would have nothing to do with welding. However, amish communities are often built on labor-intensive industries like farming, blacksmithing and carpentry. Welding has become an essential supporting element in many of these industries. For instance, the ability to repair farming equipment on the fly has made welding irreplaceable. So how does welding work within the amish community?
The amish are no strangers to fine craftsmanship. Their furniture is often considered some of the best in America. And while their woodworking machines are by no means amateur, many amish groups avoid the use of electricity, opting for workshops that run off hydraulic systems or other methods.
In one of the largest Amish affiliations, the Lancaster community, arc welders were first used to convert modern farm equipment for horse-drawn use. But the generators required for the welders quickly became a problem. Some families began using the generators for freezers and electric lights in their barns.
Landcaster leadership came out against all unnecessary uses of electric generators, but specifically allowed their use for welding. It was deemed a necessity and allowed to become an essential part of amish culture.
Today, welders aren’t just a supporting role in many amish communities. Actual amish welding workshops are used for manufacturing all sorts of parts. For instance, one Indiana motorcycle company uses amish workshops for all their metal parts. According to them, it’s some of the finest welding they’ve ever seen.
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